(One of the backer rewards for my Goody White’s Book of Folk Magic kickstarter was for game stories, in which I write an article about their store for my site. Thanks to Matt Beimler, owner of Gateway Games for answering my questions!)
How long has your store been around?
How long have you been running a store?
Since 1999. Almost 16 years.
What games do you stock?
Board games, RPGs, CCGs, Miniatures. Anything that doesn’t “beep.”
How knowledgeable are your staff about the games? Are they able to talk about the positive aspects of many games, even games they personally don’t prefer?
We are a mom and pops shop. We are pretty well versed in most popular games and our main sales person is pretty savvy as well.
Any other gamer-friendly things you carry, like comics, gaming fiction, dice, movies, anime, or action figures?
Tons of dice. Not a lot of space for the other things.
Do you carry miniatures and miniatures supplies?
Are you female-friendly? Gay-friendly? Kid-friendly? Newbie-friendly?
Our main goals are to develop the gaming community and to have a place for that community to play. We try to accommodate everyone as long as they treat each other with respect and decency.
Do you have space set aside for gaming? Is it set aside from the retail area or in open view? Is it first-come, first-served, or can you reserve the space? Do you have scheduled times for organized play events for D&D, Pathfinder, or other games?
Our store is very small. We have the main area set up with tables for store hours play and during the summer we allow after hours games as well. We try to do at least one or two organized play events every week.
Do you sell snacks?
Yes. We also setup a couple vending machines for after hours events.
Are you close to other convenient gamer-critical retailers like a pizza place?
There are several restaurants nearby.
Is your store clean?
We try to keep it pretty clean.
Will you do special orders?
Yes. If we don’t carry it, we will order it in at a 10% discount.
What do you do to go out of your way to make gamers feel welcome at your store?
Try to greet everyone by name and make sure everyone has equal access to our resources.
What are your requirements for your employees?
Be clean, friendly, and non-elitist. Everyone’s interests are important. Even if you don’t share them.
Movie Nights: once a month.
Are you open to holding special events such as an RPG art exhibit for local artists, or a dinner-game experience?
Sure. That would be interesting.
Do you have a loyalty program or other incentives for people to shop in your store instead of online?
Yes. You can play in store for points, or purchase things for points, and when you accumulate enough you get a gift certificate.
Is there a gaming club that’s active at your store?
Is there a contact board for finding games and other players?
We are planning to set one up. We mainly use Facebook.
What obscure products do you have hidden away for browsing customers to find?
We appreciate when our customers produce any kind of art and so we have several examples hiding around the shop.